We had a pretty big milestone last week for our family, and as with most momentous occasions it was bittersweet. The big yellow bus drove into our yard for the first time and our twin boys hopped on to head into their first day of Kindergarten. It was inevitable. Our kids couldn’t stay babies forever and I wasn’t about to try my hand at home-schooling just to ease my apprehension. But it still smarted a bit.
Earlier this summer, I was excited about the impending first day of school. I know the boys will learn new things and meet new friends. Now they will have other adults whom they can plie with questions like “what is on the other side of space?” and “what is more important – the sun or the clouds?” As twins, they will go together and like always, I know that they will look out for each other. It wouldn’t be all bad.
As the summer wore on though, I couldn’t help but realize things will never quite be the same and the boys felt it too. One of the boys asked me to print a picture of his sister so he could pack it with him so he wouldn’t forget what she looked like. The other little boy wistfully wondered how many loads of bales we would haul in without his help. Secretly my Other Half and I wondered the same. And our youngest (the girl with an apparently forgettable face) asked where her “pack pack” and lunch kit were, declaring that she would need them because she’ll be riding the school bus too. Her earnest statements made me think I wouldn’t be the only gal to shed a tear as the bus pulled out of the yard.
The boys boarded the bus without even a backward glance, so quick in fact, I couldn’t snap the classic picture of them and their bus driver. The day seemed to crawl by but they finally arrived back home full of news and information and packing almost-full lunch kits. I asked them why they didn’t eat more and they simultaneously said they were “too busy” and there was “no time,” but I think it was because they were so excited. They were a bit fuzzy on the details as to who was on their bus or who was in their classroom, but they retained a surprising number of facts regarding the school milk program. My young rock collector fished some rocks out of his pocket that he picked up from this new previously-unexplored playground territory. My other son, an unapologetic over-sharer, informed me that he told the bus driver “a lot of stories. A lot!” he added for emphasis. No doubt they will share their fair share of ranch stories with any willing or even unwilling ear, regardless of how good or bad they might be.
My earlier twinges of doubt didn’t cloud the fact that there were and will be many fun times during school. Our children are sure to have a long future of track and field days, Christmas concerts, field trips, and endless games of knuckles sprinkled throughout their homework, exams and bus rides. And like it or not, Little Sister will enjoy the next two years of having unfettered access to her brothers’ farm toys and corral set-ups while they are at school.
With backpacks full of carefully labelled school supplies and heads full of curious questions, it really wasn’t a matter of whether or not our boys were ready for Kindergarten… the question was, was I?